Stem Cell Differentiation Laboratory

Head of the group: 
István Szatmári, PhD
Group members: 


Adél Molnár-Lengyel (PhD student)

Chahra Fareh (PhD student)

Irén Mező (Lab Manager)


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Faculty of Medicine
University of Debrecen


Life Science Building

Egyetem tér 1.

Debrecen, Hungary, H-4010

Phone: +36-52-416-432
Direct dial: +36-52-512-900 ext. 65527 (office); 62444 or 64593 (lab)
Fax: +36-52-314-989

Current research

Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells that are specialized to capture, process and present antigens to T-cells in order to modulate immune response. The application of DCs to prime responses to tumor antigens provides a promising approach to cancer immunotherapy but clinically relevant responses have frequently been disappointing. Newer generation DC vaccines must build on the increased knowledge of DC differentiation including the generation of various DC subsets ex vivo. Several key transcription factors have been recently identified which control the specification and development of this immune cell type.

The primary research focus of our group is to generate DCs from pluripotent stem cells and modify the transcription program and immunogenicity of these cells via forced expression of lineage determining transcription factors. Our long-term goal is to control the myeloid DC/macrophage development by transcription factor mediated cellular programming. In parallel we study the genomic profiles of myeloid cells during the various stages of development. We intend to perform chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify the global list of DNA binding sites of several DC specific transcription factors in myeloid cells.


Research Infrastructure

Special instruments and tools:

FACS Aria III flow cytometer and cell sorter

CytoFLEX SRT flow cytometer and cell sorter

Neon Transfection System

EVOS Digital Inverted Brightfield and Phase Contrast Microscope

EVOS FLoid Cell Imaging Station Fluorescence Microscope

Countess Automated Cell Counter

Selected publications

Póliska S, Fareh C, Lengyel A, Göczi L, Tőzsér J, Szatmari I. 2024. Comparative transcriptomic analysis of Illumina and MGI next-generation sequencing platforms using RUNX3- and ZBTB46-instructed embryonic stem cells. Front Genet. 14:1275383.

Boto P, Gerzsenyi TB, Lengyel A, Szunyog B, Szatmari I. 2021. Zbtb46-dependent altered developmental program in embryonic stem cell-derived blood cell progenitors. Stem Cells. 39(10):1322-1334.

Takacs E, Boto P, Simo E, Csuth TI, Toth BM, Raveh-Amit H, Pap A, Kovács EG, Kobolak J, Benkö S, Dinnyes A, Szatmari I. 2017. Immunogenic Dendritic Cell Generation from Pluripotent Stem Cells by Ectopic Expression of Runx3. J Immunol. 198(1):239-248.

Bencsik R, Boto P, Szabó RN, Toth BM, Simo E, Bálint BL, Szatmari I. 2016. Improved transgene expression in doxycycline-inducible embryonic stem cells by repeated chemical selection or cell sorting. Stem Cell Res. 17(2):228-234.

Szatmari I, Iacovino M, Kyba M. 2010. The retinoid signaling pathway inhibits hematopoiesis and uncouples from the Hox genes during hematopoietic development. Stem Cells. 28:1518-29.

Szatmari, I. and Nagy, L. 2008. Nuclear receptor signalling in dendritic cells connects lipids, the genome and immune function. EMBO J 27:2353-2362.

Szatmari, I., Torocsik, D., Agostini, M., Nagy, T., Gurnell, M., Barta, E., Chatterjee, K. and Nagy, L. 2007. PPAR{gamma} regulates the function of human dendritic cells primarily by altering lipid metabolism. Blood 110:3271-3280.

Szatmari, I., A. Pap, R. Ruhl, J.X. Ma, P.A. Illarionov, G.S. Besra, E. Rajnavolgyi, B. Dezso, and L. Nagy. 2006. PPARgamma controls CD1d expression by turning on retinoic acid synthesis in developing human dendritic cells. J Exp Med 203:2351-2362.

Szatmari, I., G. Vamosi, P. Brazda, B.L. Balint, S. Benko, L. Szeles, V. Jeney, C. Ozvegy-Laczka, A. Szanto, E. Barta, J. Balla, B. Sarkadi, and L. Nagy. 2006. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-regulated ABCG2 expression confers cytoprotection to human dendritic cells. J Biol Chem 281:23812-23823.

Szatmari, I., P. Gogolak, J.S. Im, B. Dezso, E. Rajnavolgyi, and L. Nagy. 2004. Activation of PPARgamma specifies a dendritic cell subtype capable of enhanced induction of iNKT cell expansion. Immunity 21:95-106.